Why Aren’t More Companies Focused on Their Employee Value Proposition?

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Jan 20, 2014

During 2013, the economy continued to improve, corporate profits were on the rise, and the job market strengthened.

It’s certain that many employees have been reflecting on their careers and evaluating if 2014 is time to test the job market. Are you doing the same?

If you’re considering a career or company change, you are definitely not alone. Why? Because employee moral and productivity isn’t improving with the economy.

What the EVP means to the workplace

In fact, a recent Gallup survey found that only 30 percent of Americans are engaged at work, while 50 percent are “just kind of present,” and an alarming 20 percent are actively disengaged or miserable. With this improved economy, why do you suppose so many employees are so unhappy?

I believe that answer lies in the company’s employee value proposition (EVP) — what the organization wants and expects from its employees and what it provides to the employee in return.

The EVP contributes significantly to employee attraction, retention, engagement, motivation, and productivity. A strategically developed and communicated value proposition conveys why the total work experience at an organization is superior to that at other organizations.

It’s the set of attributes that current and potential employees perceive as the value gained through employment in the organization. The extent to which employees connect with your EVP determines the amount of discretionary effort they commit to bringing the organizational culture, mission, vision and values to life.

3 results of a strong employee value proposition

Given this, knowing how to create, communicate, and uphold a strong employee value prop is not only a distinct competitive advantage; it’s vital for retaining your top and core performers in today’s competitive marketplace. In fact, this employee value proposition may be the only thing setting your business apart from your competition.

The Towers and Watson 2012-2013 Global Talent Management and Rewards Study, The Next High Stakes Quest: Balancing Employer and Employee Priorities, validated that when companies have strong employee value propositions, they are:

  • Less likely to report problems attracting and retaining critical-skill employees.
  • Five times more likely to report their employees as highly engaged.
  • More than twice as likely to report achieving financial performance significantly above their peers.

How Starbucks handles the EVP

I recently read a Forbes blog post titled Consulting Starbucks: How To Set Your 2014 Customer Experience and Corporate Culture Goals that included an interview with a Starbucks’ employee. During the interview the employee was asked, “Do you think Starbucks takes better care of its employees or customers?”

And guess what, the employee could not answer. In fact the employee said, “I’ve worked here for a long time, and thought about it for a while. And I just don’t know.”

Why? Because Starbucks takes equal care of both its employees and its customers. There is no distinction, no difference between their EVP, the corporate values and the customer experience they deliver with every cup of coffee we purchase.

If the Employee Value Proposition is this important, why aren’t more companies focused on building, communicating and engaging their employees in their EVP?